We all have families, whether we’re on good terms with them or not, and we all have fears – whether they’re irrational or not. My biggest fear connects to family, or rather, a lack of family, and I feel that it’s something that weighed heavy on my shoulders for a very long time throughout my teenage and early adulthood years.
When I was around fourteen I watched an episode of Skins where the character Katie Finch gets told that she can’t have children. She was infertile. She hadn’t heard of this before and it was explained in the show that she would never be a mum by carrying her own children. I, at fourteen, also had never heard of this before. Then a rush of fear overcame me. The thought of not having children of my own completely terrified me and I instantly turned to Google to find out if it was true and sadly – it was. I read that one in eight women in the United Kingdom experience infertility and that most did not seek help. All sorts of thoughts began to rush through my mind and I was struck with fear. I wanted to be a mum but in that moment, I decided: I didn’t.
So I would live my teenage years expressing a distain for children, expressing that I didn’t want them for all sorts of reasons whilst also understanding that the underlying issue was a fear of infertility. Because I had never heard of it before, nor had it been mentioned in my Sex Education lessons in schools, I had learned of it the hard way and whilst watching someone else deal with it in a negative way, the episode didn’t go on to talk about treatments or alternative options such as adoption or fostering, and I believed that nothing could be done.
Family is the most important thing to me and I really do want one of my own someday, I want to raise my children and to hopefully be as close to them as I am to my mum, but my mind had to be changed to feel this way so many years later – I wasn’t outgrowing my opinion nor was I outgrowing my fear, it was always there but I had never faced it head on. I had never spoken to anyone about it or been reassured, and I obviously wasn’t ready to have children so how could I know if I was fertile or not without it being weird to mention to my mum?
Well, the thing that changed my mind about having children and what settled my fear, was a baby. Not my baby, but my sisters baby. She got pregnant when I was turning nineteen, she told us whilst she and her partner were doing their weekly visit, my parents and nan already knew but she decided to tell me and my sister in a way that was very typical to her: by just blurting it out. Neither of us believed her to begin with and thought she was messing around, but when it finally did sink in that she was telling us the truth – we were overjoyed. It was a shared joy throughout the family. A baby. We couldn’t wait for the baby to be born and become a part of our family.
Fast forward a few months and my mum and I were helping to arrange my sisters baby shower, as I sat with my mum making the goody bags, we spoke about when it would be my turn, I was still having fears about infertility but spoke about the future anyways, I wasn’t in a relationship yet and it seemed like something that would be in the very distant future, but it was a nice discussion to open up about actually wanting a baby and a family of my own. It was the first time in years that I felt rest assured that it was still a possibility because I didn’t know yet.
Then Harriet was born. The first time I ever saw her I was stunned. She was the most beautiful baby girl and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I met her the day after she was born, and the first time I held her I felt a strong bond. I also felt like it was something that I wanted, too. I wanted a family and I came to acknowledge it to myself completely after the longest time.
I get excited to see her and spend time with her and I spent six months baby sitting her on a Monday whilst her parents worked, every Monday was a day to look forward to for me and I’d try my best to plan days with her where we weren’t sat in the house all day, eventually I too had to work full time so our baby sitting days came to an end and I now see her only when I’m not working, but I still look forward to those times and can’t believe how much she’s grown, she’s coming two in a few months time and I am now twenty one and have been in a relationship for a year and a half, we talk about children and the connection and bond that the babies in our lives have with us. But I’ve known it for a long time: Family is the most important thing in the world to me, and I can’t wait for the day that I can start my own, whether I have a baby naturally and can carry one or whether it is true that I cannot carry them and end up adopting or fostering, I feel ready to acknowledge completely that I want a family – I want a baby someday.
About the Author
A message from Georgia Anne: Hi! I’m Georgia Anne and I wrote this post especially for Katie! I blog all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel and you can find me over at Georgia Anne.